April Fools’ Day is upon us, and like every year, Google is doing its best to outdo itself. The company releases all sorts of jokes, ranging from the ridiculously lame to the very clever, spanning the simple blog post or video to the elaborate gag or new feature. It’s a very Google-specific tradition — even other Alphabet companies don’t really participate in the celebration.
In fact, Google’s various divisions create more practical and impractical jokes for the holiday than any other tech firm, and it’s simply hard to keep track of them all. We have put together our annual roundup — here are all of Google’s April Fools jokes for 2018.
Where’s Waldo? In Google Maps
The Google Maps team tends to have the more intricate jokes — usually playable games — and this year it’s a Where’s Waldo? integration. Waldo is traveling the world with his friends Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw. To travel with him, all you have to do is find him. The April Fools feature will be available all week on Android, iOS, and desktop (make sure you have the latest app version or visit google.com/maps on your computer). To start, press play when you see Waldo waving at you from the side of your screen or ask “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” via Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook, or Home device.
Google Cloud Hummus API
There are so many different types of hummus. And not everyone likes the same hummus. This is a serious problem. Google wants to organize the world’s information, and hummus is no exception. What better way than to have a Hummus API? It analyzes your taste using Google’s “advance artificial intelligence algorithm,” “a hummus big data warehouse” stored in the Google Cloud, “a machine learning model,” vision intelligence, and a taste stick.
Gboard Hardware Keyboard
Google Japan was tired of having to memorize where the keys are on a keyboard, so it created a “physical handwriting version” of the Gboard virtual keyboard app. Instead, the team has created a device that lets you swipe over hardware keyboards, just like you do on software keyboards. The physical version of Gboard collects “a ton of scribble data” and uses machine learning to match it with the correct letters. They ended up with 100,000 data points! It works for all ages and not only do you no longer have to remember where all the letters are, but you don’t even need to print the letters on the keys anymore.
When it comes to April Fools’ Day, Google seems to have a bottomless pit for a marketing budget. We will update this post as the company launches more jokes.